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Science is Unsettling my Spiritual Devotions

There’s a bible verse that I have meditated on and loved for years:

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.”

Psalm 46:4, NIV

God provides a river to water and sustain his city—the imagery is beautiful. In my mind I’ve always pictured a meandering river branching out into smaller streams that bring life to the whole city.

Only that’s not how rivers and streams work.

Water flows from streams into rivers.

Not that this makes a huge difference in the overall meaning of the text—God waters his world, and this is a gift—but the change in flow did leave me wondering.

Is a city “gladdened” by good drainage? Are these streams throughout the city evidence of God having sent rain everywhere? Does a city flourish more when many small streams fed into the greater good? Just as a great and mighty river is fed by countless tiny streams, God’s great and holy city is the accumulation of the goodness God has rained onto every life.

All good comes from God and flows back to God. We’re not just the recipients of his grace, but also the headwaters.

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